Drew Timme, who could have left for the NBA after leading Gonzaga into last season’s NCAA men’s basketball national championship game, was the lone unanimous selection by a 63-person media panel on The Associated Press preseason All-America team released Monday. He was joined by Illinois 7-footer Kofi Cockburn, UCLA guard Johnny Juzang, Villanova point guard Collin Gillespie and Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis. “I love it here. It’s a great place. It’s where I want to be,” Timme said. “When I do something, I feel like I have to be the best version of myself and I felt like there are some things I needed to work on in order to accomplish that. Coach [Mark Few] pushes me every day, we had some talks and I felt like it was the best move to me, the most logical move, especially with talking with coach and my family.” The 6-foot-10-inch forward transformed from a freshman backup to one of the nation’s best big men last season, earning second-team All-America honors. He was a key cog in Gonzaga’s return to the NCAA title game, averaging 19 points and 7.0 rebounds. Timme’s return was a key to Gonzaga being voted No. 1 in the preseason AP Top 25 despite losing several key players.
Texas Tech fires coach
Texas Tech fired football coach Matt Wells on Monday, two days after the Red Raiders couldn’t hold a two-touchdown halftime lead in a 25-24 loss at home to Kansas State. Athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced the move and said offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie would serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, which includes a visit to No. 4 Oklahoma on Saturday. Wells had a shot at his first winning record in his third season with the Red Raiders, but an inability to win Big 12 games plagued him just as it did predecessor Kliff Kingsbury, who also was fired. The Red Raiders (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) didn’t win consecutive conference games under Wells, who came from Utah State to replace Kingsbury. Texas Tech was 13-17 overall and 7-16 in conference under Wells. Kingsbury was 19-35 in league play in six seasons . . . Auburn coach Bryan Harsin declined to address his vaccination status days after the university imposed a mandate requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The university mandate, which went into effect last Friday, imposes a Dec. 8 deadline for employees to be vaccinated or they could face termination. Harsin has declined to say whether he’s vaccinated since reporters first asked at Southeastern Conference media days in July . . . North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren said starting linebacker Isaiah Moore and starting left guard Chandler Zavala have suffered season-ending injuries and will require surgery. While Doeren didn’t specify the nature of their injuries, Moore went down holding his knee during Saturday’s 31-30 loss at Miami. The redshirt junior later returned briefly before exiting a final time, sidelining a player who is the team’s No. 2 tackler (43). Zavala sat out the Wolfpack’s conference win at Boston College and Saturday’s game at Miami.
Rosters for Davis Cup Finals revealed
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev headline the rosters announced for the Davis Cup Finals that begin next month. Djokovic, a 20-time major champion who fell one win short of a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2021, is joined on Serbia’s squad by Filip Krajinovic, Dusan Lajovic, Laslo Djere and Miomir Kekmanovic. Medvedev, who is ranked No. 2 and claimed his first Grand Slam title by beating Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows in September, leads a Russian team that includes No. 6 Andrey Rublev, No. 19 Aslan Karatsev, No. 30 Karen Khachanov and Evgeny Donskoy. Eighteen countries will participate in group-stage matches starting Nov. 25 on indoor hard courts in Madrid; Innsbruck, Austria; and Turin, Italy. After quarterfinals in those cities, the semifinals and final will be held in Madrid. Spain is the reigning champion thanks to its 2019 title; the Davis Cup was called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic . . . American Sebastian Korda advanced to the second round of the St. Petersburg Open with a 7-6 (2), 7-5 win over Nino Serdarušić. Korda, who won his first ATP Tour trophy this year in Parma, will next face third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut at the Russian hard-court tournament . . . Ranked No. 146 in the world, Anastasia Gasanova of Russia saved two match points before outlasting fourth-seeded Jil Teichmann 4-5, 6-0, 7-5 in the first round of the Transylvania Open.
American aims to rescue English soccer club Derby
American businessman Chris Kirchner is looking to rescue English second-tier club Derby from bankruptcy protection. Kirchner, 34, the founder of global logistics technology provider Slync.io, has written to inform supporters of his desire to buy Derby out of administration and to get approval from the English Football League to be an owner of the club. The team, managed by former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, has already been docked 12 points for entering administration and is in last place with more than two thirds of the season remaining . . . Mark van Bommel became the first Bundesliga coach to lose his job this season when he was fired by Wolfsburg on Sunday after just nine league games in charge. Van Bommel had started well with five wins across all competitions, but the former Dutch international made a major error in the first, when he fielded six substitutes instead of the permitted five in a German Cup win over Preußen Münster. Wolfsburg was subsequently thrown out of the competition in favor of the fourth-tier side, and though the club brushed it off by offering six tickets for the price of five and winning its first four league games, it has since gone five matches in the Bundesliga and three in the Champions League without a victory . . . Santi Mina scored twice and Iago Aspas added another as Celta Vigo defeated last-place Getafe, 3-0, in Madrid to keep its opponent winless in the Spanish League. Mina found the net in the 55th and 73rd minutes and Aspas scored in the 58th as the visitors ended a run of two straight losses.
Legendary Whitman-Hanson coach Jim Daley dies, 67
Jim Daley, the winningest coach in one sport in the history of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, died on Monday morning at 67 after battling health issues the last couple of years, athletic director Bob Rodgers confirmed. “It’s a tremendous loss for our community and his family,” Rodgers said. “The beauty of it is the impact he had on so many people will live on.” Daley was a 1971 Whitman-Hanson graduate who went on to play baseball at Bridgewater State before beginning his coaching career in 1976. He served as the varsity girls’ basketball coach for 33 years from 1979-2012, reaching the state tournament 30 times, capturing 15 league titles and compiling a 510-216 record. Daley won his 500th game in November 2011, becoming the 13th coach in state history to reach 500 wins, before retiring in 2012. Later that year he was inducted into the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He was a two-time MBCA Coach of the Year and was named Globe Coach of the Year in 1982. In 2019, he was inducted into the Whitman-Hanson Hall of Fame.